A lady was severely injured in a fire at a condo building in Chicago‘s Hyde Park area early Tuesday morning.
As early as 4:30 a.m., large flames and thick smoke could be seen pouring from a four-story apartment building in the 5100 block of South Kenwood Avenue.
The woman, who authorities say is in her 80s and lives on the second floor, was brought to the University of Chicago Medical Center in critical condition after the incident that began at 3:30 a.m.
Both residents in the building burning and those in nearby buildings were advised to flee their homes early Tuesday.
“I was awakened by the sounds of approaching fire trucks and people yelling “fire, fire, gotta get out.”
A someone could be heard on the sidewalk yelling, “get out of the building. The building’s on fire.” “to paraphrase what Ryan Winters, a nearby neighbor, reported.
Chicago fire department officials estimated that at one point, there were around 250 firefighters at the scene.
They were attacking the blaze from every direction, and every time they thought they had it under control, new flames would burst forth.
“I woke up about 4 o’clock to noise in the rear, and I peeked out to see someone breaking down the wooden fence between the properties,” neighbor Joan Allison said.
“We knew the building was on fire when we emerged to find a panorama of fire trucks and other emergency vehicles. It’s terrifying.”
Streets were closed as firefighters battled the blaze, which had reached a critical point by 6:30 a.m. when flames and thick smoke were billowing out of the building’s roof and windows.
Commissioner of the Chicago Fire Department Annette Nance-Holt noted that hoarding conditions on the second story slowed response times.
The fire spread to the back porches, completely engulfing them on the second, third, and fourth stories.
After the roof collapsed, Nance-Holt stated at a news conference at approximately 7 a.m. Fire crews were in defense mode.
It’s like throwing a tonne of water on a fire, she remarked. “(Crews have) a lot of work ahead of them.”
Due to the blaze, eleven families had to relocate. Fire marshals and code enforcers will soon arrive to determine whether or not the building can be salvaged.
The fire’s origin is still being probed.
Source: ABC7 Chicago